Posts by: Stephanie

How Pope Francis’ Visit Helped One Woman Heal From Her Abortions

How Pope Francis’ Visit Helped One Woman Heal From Her Abortions

On yesterday’s The Terry Barber and Jesse Romero Show a woman named Julie called in to share her remarkable story of how Pope Francis’ visit to the United States lead her to the Catholic Church and helped start the process of healing from her abortions.

Julie shared with Terry and Jesse that she has had three abortions, and the third one devastated her and weighed upon her for many years. Julie told the hosts:

“Nobody tells you that you will empty your soul. Nobody tells you that there will be a deep sadness that you’re going to carry on your own, until you can set that shame aside to just ask for help. So many people walk around with that sadness and they don’t know what to do.”

Julie continued on with her life, but said she always felt a sense of emptiness and sadness. Then she heard that Pope Francis would be visiting the United States. Although Julie was not Catholic, she said:

“I always had curiosity about the Catholic religion because my husband is Catholic, but he hasn’t been practicing his faith. I was drawn to the structure that I would see or hear about, but I just never thought I would be welcomed because of my past.

I saw that the pope was coming to town, and … I didn’t think much of it. And then he arrived and as soon as he got here, I changed the channel he was on there. I can’t explain it. I just saw him and I started crying. I couldn’t stop watching him. … and I couldn’t watch him without tears coming down my face. I felt hope and I felt relief, but I didn’t know where it was coming from.”

A few days later, Julie saw the Planned Parenthood videos and it brought her back to her own abortion experiences. She said:

“I felt absolutely desperate. I felt desperate and I felt like I don’t know what I’m going to because I don’t know how to live with this anymore. So I got in the car and I drove to a Catholic Church and I walked in and I said ‘Is there a priest here? Can I talk to a priest?’ And they got me a priest and I sat down and I just started crying.  And I said ‘I just have one question. Is abortion a forgivable sin? Can I start a relationship with God and will He forgive me?’ And they were welcoming and they said ‘Yes.'”

The next Sunday, Julie told her husband she would like to go to Mass at the Catholic Church. Although he had not practiced his faith in many years, he went with her. He has now agreed to begin attending Mass with Julie, and Julie is in the process of joining RCIA in order to be baptized in the Catholic Church.

Please keep Julie, her husband, and all who have been hurt by abortion in your prayers.

You can listen to Julie’s beautiful story in its entirety in this 15 minute clip from The Terry Barber and Jesse Romero Show:




Overcoming Loneliness

Overcoming Loneliness

Have you ever felt as though you were alone, even when you were around other people? Have you ever felt like no one understood you or cared? Maybe you are feeling that way right now. Most people experience loneliness at some point in their lives, but if we don’t cope with it, loneliness can damage our spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. If you are feeling lonely, here are some steps you can take to cope and overcome your loneliness.

Look in Scripture: Scripture shows us that loneliness is a common human condition, and that Christ Himself experienced loneliness while on earth. Isaiah prophesied of Christ, “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3) We can use the Scriptures to reflect and draw close to God, knowing that He has born the same burden of loneliness.

Scripture also provides a great source of encouragement and hope in our loneliness, as it assures us that God is close to us in our brokenness and will never abandon us.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3

Pray: When we feel alone, like no one understands or hears us, we can be assured that God is always present and ready to listen. The Psalms offer examples of crying out to God in prayer during times of loneliness, grief, and suffering. You too can call out to God and share your burdens with Him, asking for the strength and peace to overcome your struggles.

Then listen to the Lord in silence. Let the Lord speak to your heart to understand where He wants to lead you during this time of hardship. Times of loneliness can be a time to grow in our relationship with God, as it gives us the opportunity to rely on Him and spend more time deepening our relationship with Him.

Reach Out: If you’re feeling lonely, it can be hard to reach out to others. But we need community and relationships. Reach out to a friend or family member and ask to get together for coffee, lunch, or just a long phone call. Taking the time to connect with another person can help to rid the feelings of loneliness and the feeling of not being heard.

If you don’t have a friend or family member to reach out to, try to find a group, club, or activity that you could join to meet new people. Keep an eye out for ministries at your parish, local sports clubs, or volunteer groups that you could join to meet people who share your interests and who you can connect with. If you can’t find something local, or if it’s difficult for you to leave your home, look online for a community of people you can connect with.

Another way to reach out is to think of people in your community who also feel unseen, unheard, and lonely. Many people are in a state of life where they don’t have anyone with whom they can share their joys and struggles. Consider volunteering at a nursing home, homeless shelter, or crisis pregnancy center to help others who are facing hardships, often with little support from loved ones. Volunteering will not only allow you to help the less fortunate, but will also provide perspective and gratitude for all the blessings God has given you.

While loneliness is something that most people experience at some point, if you experience a prolonged sense of loneliness or feelings of depression, reach out to a medical professional. Taking care of your mental, emotional, and physical health is not something to ever be ashamed of, and it can help you to live the life for which God created you.

A Catholic Response to California’s Assisted Suicide Legislation

A Catholic Response to California’s Assisted Suicide Legislation

UPDATE: Governor Jerry Brown signed the law which legalizes physician-assisted suicide in California. Pray for all who seek to end their lives prematurely, and for the protection of all life from conception to natural death.

On Wednesday the state Assembly of California passed a bill that would allow physicians to intentionally end the life of a patient by prescribing life-ending drugs. The bill still awaits final approval from the state Senate, but the bill’s passage in the Assembly has many Catholics concerned.

Jesuit priest Father Robert Spitzer recently joined host Chris Aubert on Right Here, Right Now to discuss whether the issue of assisted suicide is acceptable in some cases or whether it is an intrinsic evil; and also how Catholics should respond to fellow Catholics who approve of physician-assisted suicide. Listen below for Father Spitzer’s responses:

Get more Catholic insights into current events by tuning in to Right Here, Right Now with Chris Aubert weekdays from 1:00-3:00pm Pacific